Firstly it’s important to understand what is meant by ‘metabolism’ in terms of weight loss.
In simple terms, metabolism is the conversion of food into usable energy to operate your body and to help it move and stay warm. Your metabolic rate is the speed at which your body is able to convert calories into energy. The higher this is, the more calories you will be able to burn. A sluggish metabolism will result in weight gain and low energy levels. Around 75 % of the calories you use daily are burned, to maintain essential bodily functions such as keeping the heart pumping, breathing, and repairing your body. This is called ‘basal metabolism’, the basic rate of calorie burn.
Many people think that lowering the amount of calories and fat they consume will help them to lose weight, but many don’t understand that this can also lower your metabolism, effectively lowering your rate of calorie burn and slowing your weight loss.
There are ways to boost your metabolism so that you are able to burn even more calories, and therefore lose more weight. Try to fit some or all of these into your day to day activities, and increase your metabolism burn rate easily!
• Eat enough calories every day. Less than 1200 will slow down your metabolism as it is not enough to support the basal metabolism. Also, if your body thinks it is being starved your metabolism will slow down.
• Try to consume more complex carbohydrates rather than fats. As complex carbohydrates require more energy to digest them, they boost the metabolism. Carbs also have fewer calories than fatty foods.
• Don’t skip breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day. This is because, if you don’t eat after a long sleep, you’re body will kick into starvation mode and the metabolism slows down to compensate.
• Snack healthily. Eating regularly fuels your metabolism; just make sure it’s healthy snacks such as fruit or vegetables.
• Don’t eat late at night. Try to eat dinner earlier and make lunch your main meal of the day, as this is when you need the most energy.
• Stay active everyday with some aerobic exercise. Even walking and dancing count. Try to exercise early in the day for the best results.
• Try to avoid alcoholic beverages and make them an occasional treat. Alcohol slows the metabolism.
• Try weight training which builds muscle. The more muscle you have, the better your metabolism will be.
• Drink plenty of water, at least 6 large glasses a day. It’s important to keep your body hydrated and water is a great metabolism booster.